Hainan Is. China's Hawaii, More surfers than primates
Surf Travel Updates: China
Hello Hainan, Hawaii of the East, forecast to be Earth's most crowded surf-spot
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 23 January, 2013 : - - The exotic, magnificent, tropical island of Hainan in Southern China is set to become the main attraction for surfers in China starting next weekend. The south and east coasts of Hainan Island pick up swells generated during winter monsoon and summer typhoon seasons. The most consistent time for waves is between October and February.
When, not if, surfing catches on in China, home to almost 1/6th of the world’s population, Riyue Bay (one of China’s best waves) on Hainan Island will most likely become the world’s most crowded surf spot. About the same size as the state of Maryland in the U.S., think of Hainan as the Hawaii of China.
Hainan is blessed with miles of unexplored headlands, reefs, outer-islands, and beaches perfect for surfing. Unsuitable winds are common on the more Northern side of the Island, and fickle conditions make picking the right spot difficult. Below are the best for where to look for good spots depending on the season. Surfing in Hainan is comperable to any reasonable surf locale in the world given the right conditions.
"One Man Left"
The Hainan Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival will take place in Wanning, Hainan Island, China from January 25 to 30 2013. China will become the international surfing capital with the world’s top surfers competing on their National Teams in the ISA China Cup followed by a second surfing competition, the Hainan Classic, an ASP Men’s 4-Star contest. It will be the second time in the history of the country that surfing events of this magnitude take place.
The left point break at Riyue Bay on Hainan Island is generally considered to hold the best opportunity for world class waves. Sean Collins of Surfline remarked, “Hainan Island in China produces consistent fun surf during the winter, and especially during the month of January according to our research of swell patterns over the last 15 years. I am very impressed with the local setup of various good quality surf breaks around the Riyue Bay area that enjoy prevailing offshore winds and clean conditions during the best swells.”
The Hainan Riyue Bay International Surfing Festival comes on the back of the recent ASP Swatch Girls Pro China and a quality international field are sure to chase the $US95,000 prize pool at this notable 4-Star event.
The Surfing Hainan Open has previously taken place in Riyuewan on Hainan’s southeast coast. It is one of the best places for surfing in the Chinese island province and frequently sees days of head-high surf during the fall and winter, when Northeast swells are prevalent.
The event featured three disciplines of shortboard, longboard, and stand up paddleboard, with separate divisions for men and women. The event was popular with expat surfers living in China, and many competitors have competed multiple times in the years past.
With a coastline of 9,000 miles, a lot of unexplored surfing breaks, strong support from the highest levels of Government for surfing, the opportunity is ripe for China become a surfing powerhouse.
Hainan is growing in popularity as a destination for Western travelers, and has long been a vacation spot for mainland Chinese. For the past several years, Hainan’s first surf shop and school, Surfing Hainan, has run the Surfing Hainan Open competition, with growing recognition every year. Surfing in Hainan is still in its fledgling stages, so most of the time you won’t find yourself competing with too many other surfers for waves.
Surfing Hainan, located in Dadonghai on the south coast, offers all-inclusive three- and five-day surf trip packages, including airport transfer, three meals a day, accommodation at a hotel right on a point break, and a guide with transportation to take you to other surrounding breaks.
Golden Beach Resort on Riyue Bay is a good self-catering option for those who don’t want to spring for a full-on surf trip package. No surf shop is close by, so you’ll need your own board and accessories if you want to surf Riyue Bay.
Hainan gibbon : Greenpeace
A Hainan gibbon, the world's rarest primate with just 23 believed to be remaining in the wild, hangs from a branch of a tree in a rainforest located in the Chinese province of Hainan. According to a Greenpeace study released 22 November 2011, Hainan province's rainforests, home to the Hainan gibbon, have been disappearing at a rate of around 400,000 square meters every two days for the past ten years because of illegal logging and plantation establishment.
About Hainan Island
Located in the tropical area at the southern end of China, Hainan is warm all year round and has no winter. Besides, it boasts soft beaches and beautiful tropical scenery, which make it a famous holiday resort in China. Its administrative regions are Hainan Island, Xisha archipelago, Zhongsha archipelago and Nansha archipelago. The whole province occupies a land area of 35,000 square kilometers (13,510 square miles) and a sea area of 2,000,000 square kilometers (772,000 square miles).
The main island, Hainan Island, which is shaped like a giant elliptical pear, is China's largest island after Taiwan. The capital of Hainan is Haikou City, situated in northern part of the Hainan Island. It is the political, economic, cultural and transportation center of the whole province. The other prefecture-level city of the province is Sanya, which is a hot destination for tourism.
Belonging to the northern part of the tropics and virtually at the same latitude as Hawaii, Hainan has a tropical monsoon climate and is known as the 'Eastern Hawaii'. Its average annual temperature is 23-25°C while the average temperature of the coldest February ranges between 16-20°C and the hottest August between 35-39°C. When northern China is snowy and icebound, people in Hainan are able to swim in the sea and enjoy the warm sunshine on the beach.
In addition, Hainan has beautiful soft beaches and tropical scenery such as Holiday Beach, Dongzhai Harbor Mangrove Natural Reserve Area, Dongjiao Coconut Plantation, Asian Dragon Bay and Wuzhizhou Island. All these help to make Hainan a holiday hot spot in China, especially in winters and for newly-married couples.
A special mention must be made here of the fact that since 2008, the government has been making a great effort to develop this tropical island province into an international tourism destination. On December 30, 2010, the first high-speed rail of Hainan, Hainan Eastern Ring Rail was put into service. Now people can travel easily between the northern point of the Hainan Island (Haikou) and its southern point (Sanya) in just 1.5 hours.
Another effort made by the government is the tax rebate program for tourists introduced from January 1, 2011.
Famous Festivals in Hainan
Hainan Island is also called 'Coconut Island' for its production of coconuts. Each year in late March or early April, the islanders hold a 'Coconut Festival'. During the festival, visitors can go to Haikou to appreciate the coconut lanterns, travel to Wenchang to taste the delicious coconuts, head for Sanya to watch the dragon boat race and a folk martial art competition, approach Tongshi to attend the Sanyuesan carnival. Sanyuesan is a traditional festival celebrated on every March, 3rd of Chinese lunar calendar by the local Li people. On that day, the Li worship their ancestors and pray for a good harvest. It is also a 'love festival' for the young people to seek love. Visitors may also watch the traditional Li wedding ceremonies on that day.
Typical Hainan Food
In addition to coconuts, Hainan is rich in some other tropical fruits like bananas, lychees, papayas and pineapples as well as seafood, which are all musts to enjoy when traveling there. What's more, Hainan has some featured local delicacies. The most famous four local specialties are Hele Crab, Dongshan Mutton, Jiaji Duck and Wenchang Chicken. Some other most famous dishes include Hainanese Chicken Rice, Hainan Hotpot, pumpkin rice of Li and Qiongshan tofu, etc.
Source: SV Travel
Author: The Editors
Tags: Hainan Island, China Cup
Surf Travel: Surfersvillage